By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Health Services grant aims to lower injuries on Stanislaus County roads
car seat

The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency, Public Health Division has received grant money from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to fund the Injury Prevention Program.

A $119,000 grant from OTS will fund safety education and training programs aimed at helping parents and caretakers make sure their child is riding safely when in a vehicle. This is the seventh consecutive year the program has been grant-funded.

For the fourth year, the Agency has also received an additional $126,000 grant from OTS aimed at improving the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Both grant programs will run through September 2023.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children 13 and under, and car seats save lives by reducing the risk of injury or death. Unfortunately, a nationwide survey by the NHTSA found that half of all child car seats are misused.

“The goal of this program is to significantly reduce death and injury to children riding in cars and trucks,” said Heather Duvall, Assistant Public Health Director. “Eliminating the financial burden for low-income families helps every child in our community ride safely.”

Funding for child passenger safety will go toward a variety of activities to promote occupant safety and decrease injuries and deaths due to improper use of car seats, booster seats, or seat belts: Child seat safety check-ups/inspections; Child safety seat education classes; Child Passenger Safety technician training and recertification training; Distribution of child safety seats to families in need; and promotion of the importance of discarding used and expired car seats.

Additionally, bicycle and pedestrian-related crashes remain high. In 2021, Stanislaus County recorded 20 pedestrian and three bicyclist deaths from crashes with vehicles, with another 178 pedestrians and 123 bicyclists being injured.

“Every bicyclist and pedestrian should feel safe on the road,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “Education is one of many important tools that collectively work to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely, regardless of how they travel.”

Pedestrian and bicycle safety funding will be used to conduct youth and adult education, including: Bicycle safety classes and educational workshops; Bicycle and pedestrian safety for youth and adults; Public education on the importance of safety equipment like reflective armbands, leg bands, headlights, taillights, reflectors, and helmets; and participation in national education campaign events and programs such as National Walk to School Day, Bicycle Safety Month, Pedestrian Safety Month, Safe Routes to Schools, and Vision Zero. The listed activities are intended to teach and encourage skills to help individuals maneuver safely throughout their communities, reduce preventable injuries and deaths, and encourage active modes of transportation like walking and biking.

Funding for these programs is provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information about these injury prevention programs, please call (209) 558-5657.